(Reuters) – The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a bid from Johnson & Johnson to reject a lawsuit from the state of Mississippi over allegations that the company failed to inform residents that its talc-based products increased the risk of develop ovarian cancer.
The courts issued a decision in April from the Mississippi Supreme Court ruling that allowed the trial to proceed.
other talc products about the risk of ovarian cancer. The US Food and Drug Administration said in 2014 that no such labeling was required and the company has said that the decision anticipates state lawsuits like the Mississippi. Internal business records, testimony from the trial and other evidence showed that from at least 1971 to the early 2000s, J & J's raw talc and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos.
The company said in May 2020 that it would stop selling its baby. powder talc in the United States and Canada, citing changes in consumer habits and what it called "misinformation" about product safety in the midst of many legal challenges.
In October, J&J declared tens of thousands of legal claims bankrupt, cancer and transferred the potential debts to a newly created subsidiary.
J&J said that the talc cases would be stopped while the new unit with J & J's talc debts is navigating bankruptcy proceedings. Mississippi did not agree and told the judges not to accept the company's "effort for further delays."
Justice Samuel Alito did not participate in the Supreme Court's decision not to hear the appeal, probably because he owns J&J shares. Judge Brett Kavanaugh, whose father – now retired – was a longtime lobbyist for the toiletries industry, did not attend either. Judges do not usually explain why they go aside in some cases.
The Supreme Court in June rejected a separate appeal by J&J that sought to set aside $ 2.12 billion in damages to women who blamed their ovarian cancer on the company's baby powder and other talc. products.